Five Questions Friday: Sister GaGa and Jack White

Have to refine some of these questions to “present day” because these were last week’s questions and Mr. Basketmaker forgot to answer them and then I forgot to nag him about it…

Q: Out comes Sister Gaga because it’s football season! How do you think my team, Cookie Crumblers, are going to do this year? And, how scared are you that you’re playing me this week?
Eric: Ah not very scared at all. But I don’t want to lose because I will be 2-2 and you will be 4-0. Overall you have a great time so far. But since I’m not managing your team, you will crash and burn soon.
(So not nice.)

Q: Last week’s question was “why are we not getting in the car and driving to Pennsylvania?” This week’s refined question is, “How come Uncle Ed and cousin Kerryn are not drive-worthy again?”
Eric: They are drive worthy! It’s circumstance. We just got home driving 1600 miles to Nantucket and then to NH and then to Maine and then back home. Not dragging myself into the car again to go to Pennsylvania.
(Uhm, sort of didn’t answer the question but will let it slide.)

Q: Can you believe how well and how large my luffa harvest is doing?
Eric: Yeah whatever. We’ll see if you actually process and get the sponges.
(I sense a jealous tone.)
 
Q: I can’t believe how long it is taking to go through, process and organize all your basket photos. Did you realize what a huge task this would be?
Eric: 
That’s why I never asked you to do it. And I couldn’t do it. Too much work and you’re the pro, not me.

Q: What aggravated you this week?
Eric: That I love Jack White. And I want to go to one of his concerts but they are so expensive. Two weeks ago I found out he is coming to our little town of McMinnville and the tickets are free. Fast forward to today, that event is tonight! Granted, he won’t be performing but he will be periodically onstage because he’s hosting other artists as a special event for his company Third Man Records. I wanted to go!

But we couldn’t just drive to the venue. Instead we would HAVE to be in Nashville and leave on one of the busses heading to our hometown to see the actual concert. I guess we could have driven all the way to Nashville, paid for parking somewhere, got on the bus, drove back to McMinnville then after the show tonight, get back on the bus, drive by our house on the way to Nashville, then get in the car and drive back home. I totaled up the time and it would be about 12 hours. If he was actually singing, I’d probably do it. But this really aggravated me last week and again this week.
(Well we could just drive over there right now and sit at the entrance waiting for a glimpse of Mr. Jack White. We’d be one of those creepy band fans but I’m willing to do it for you!)

Thanks for answering the questions Eric but I have a prediction. Next week’s “aggravation” will be me crushing your team!!!

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Eric Taylor’s City Pack Basket doubles as a Kitty Condo as well

Mr. Basketmaker made me this pack basket a few years ago. It got it’s name from the photo I posted of my sister wearing it while we were speed walking in New York City (see post here if you missed it).

Eric has it out on his workbench because he will be teaching this basket in November and is referencing it while making the materials (well, I’m assuming that’s why it’s there).

But someone else has decided to make it her own private little condo…


It even comes with its own special patio…

Perfect for stretching following an afternoon nap…

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Do you know what this is?

My sister texted me earlier asking if I knew what this was…

It is an osage orange, also called hedge apple. The fruit, named for its citrusy, orange-like fragrance is inedible by humans. She lives in Illinois and I believe they are found more in the midwest. I’m not completely sure but I’ve never seen them in New England or here in Tennessee.

Anyway, this little fruit led to me discovering why I might have had such a disappointing luffa (or loofah) crop last summer—or rather no crop!

This summer, my luffa has grown like wild…

The next two photos are a shoutout to my mother-in-law…

Yes, you do in fact grow luffa. They look very similar to cucumbers however they get much larger. And this year, they are the largest I’ve seen.

The photo above shows the luffa starting to get dark brown towards the stem (looks black but it’s not). This means that it will soon be ready to pick. I will leave the pods on the vine to get wrinkly and dried up as long as they can. But if we get a frost, then they will have to be cut off. But the more they harden, dry and start to wrinkle, the easier it is to process, which is a lot of work.

But I’m anxious to start processing them because last summer my plants, which I grew from my own seeds, never flowered which meant no fruit. This year, I purchased my seeds from a lady who lives in Tennessee, and watched them grow plentiful all summer. And tonight I think I finally figured out why my seeds didn’t work out very well last year.

After I texted my sister what that odd fruit was, she googled it and found that people sell the seeds on etsy. Shortly after, I got a call from my nephew Ben who wanted to know how to process the seeds. I didn’t want to give him false info so I looked up processing seeds specifically for the osage orange. And discovered that once you retrieve the seeds and dry them, you have to put them in the freezer for 3 months. BINGO! I did not do this with my luffa seeds and because the climate is much warmer down here in Tennessee, I probably needed to replicate a longer, natural chilling season.

Sweet! So thanks Ben! I can’t wait to put this year’s seeds in the freezer and try growing them again. But to be safe, I will also plant “back up” seeds dried by a professional.

Best use for luffa sponge? Dry brushing your skin to make it glow. It works perfectly. If you don’t know what dry brushing is, google it. Lots of info. It’s also great in the shower and used as kitchen sponges. 

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